|Above, the day before the heart attack. From left, Mitch Geriminsky, Bill Wilson and myself.|
What exactly happened anyway? You felt it suddenly come on, or you just went down without warning? We have that happen at court not infrequently, and if another heart patient is there, they put their nitro under the person's tongue to save them until the ambulance gets there. Many times, the person has no idea they have heart problems, and that is their first clue.
That's what happened to me. I had no history of heart problems before this.
Well, three of us sat down at a booth for a late breakfast/early lunch. Mitch was opposite of Robert and myself. I was on the inside. We ordered and the food was delivered. I felt a tightening of my chest, mixed with a feeling like heartburn. I excused myself from the table as I felt being confined and I thought I would try to walk it off. I did but it didn't help. The pain got worse (felt like and elephant sitting on my chest). I started feeling dizzy. I sat down and put my head between my knees so I don't pass out. I signaled to Mitch to call an ambulance. He already knew what was happening as he has seen others have heart attacks and called an ambulance. I was taken to a back room and the ambulance EMTs started working on me. They cut off my prized Mustang Hawaiian shirt, which pissed me off. They told Mitch that I could be taken to a hospital in Elko or to a much better one by helicopter to Twin Falls, Idaho. He opted for Twin Falls.
I didn't feel better until I was in the helicopter and given a second nitro. As soon as we landed at the hospital, I was immediately taken to the operating room and the stent procedure was started.
Mitch earlier went to the restroom at the restaurant and when he came out, he took a photo of Robert and me at the booth. This was only minutes away from the heart attack. There was no indication in the photo that trouble was about to begin.
It is strange that since this happened, others I have talked to (one was a fellow Clamper at Twin Arrows Casino in Arizona and the other is the post office clerk down at the local Flying J) had mentioned feeling chest discomfort in the past. I told both to get checked, just in case.
Chances are, the pains were probably nothing, but they also could be something that may strike big time like mine did. The peace of mind from getting checked is worth the doctor's bill alone. Don't ignore those pains!
I was lucky to be where I was when the attack happened and with people who knew what to do.